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Call for Conference Abstracts (Abstracts Closed)

NACC’s 42nd National Child Welfare Law Conference

Anaheim Marriott Hotel, Anaheim, California

August 26-28, 2019  

The National Association of Counsel for Children accepted abstract submissions through February 3, 2019 for its 42nd National Child Welfare Law Conference.  All abstract submitters will be notified of NACC’s selection decisions by early March.  


See NACC’s Conference Abstract FAQs for more information.


NACC’s annual conference is a unique opportunity for child and family legal and policy professionals from across the country to gather to continue their legal education, exchange new ideas, build skills, and network with colleagues and friends.  NACC is grateful for the contributions of our national conference faculty, who provide their time, talent, and treasure to produce a high-quality training event which inspires attendees to do their best work for children and families in courtroom and policy advocacy. 


In August 2018, NACC adopted a new strategic plan that centers our work specifically in the child welfare system and the intersection of other fields (juvenile justice, criminal justice, family law, immigration, education, civil rights) where they overlap with the child welfare system.  NACC’s vision is that every child and family involved with the court system is well-represented by a lawyer who works to ensure that every child is raised by a nurturing family and has positive life opportunities.  Together as a national community, we can promote a child welfare system that is fair and equitable; protects children’s rights, well-being, and opportunities; provides equitable access to services and supports; keeps children in loving, permanent families; and prevents children and youth from entering the criminal and juvenile justice systems.  The conference is an opportunity for us to further these goals through the exchange of information, ideas, and collective efforts.


The majority of conference attendees are attorneys and judges who work in child welfare court systems representing children, parents, and agencies.  Many attendees have a diverse practice which also includes work in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Conference attendees also include professionals from a multidisciplinary array of fields including medicine, community advocacy, immigration, education, social services, and civil rights, as well as law students and other child welfare stakeholders. 


Conference sessions should be designed for a national audience, expand attendees’ understanding of the law, provide practical tools and resources to support legal advocacy, and provide information and strategies for systems improvement.  Specific topics of interest include:


       Keeping children in families, family settings, and with siblings

       Family First Prevention Services Act and other major child welfare legislation

       Prevention and early intervention for juvenile justice system involvement

       Intersection of juvenile justice reforms with the child welfare system

       Indian Child Welfare Act


       Racial and ethnic disparities and implicit bias

       Human trafficking

       Domestic violence

       Reasonable services for incarcerated parents and/or teen parents

       Trial skills (discrete 90-minute skills sessions, conference may include trial skills track)

       Language access

       Confidentiality and privilege

       Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children

       Socioeconomic bias

       Substance use disorders (children and parents)

       Mental health

       Trauma-informed treatment and trauma-sensitive courtrooms/offices/practices


       Licensing reform


       Innovative legal service delivery systems and law office management

       Diversifying the legal profession

       Certification and standards of practice

       Policy advocacy (specific reforms and skill-building)

       Class action litigation and amicus advocacy


NACC encourages DIVERSITY in abstract submissions, which includes diversity in faculty, diversity in the population of children and families addressed, and diversity in geographic representation and urban/rural/suburban areas.  NACC also encourages multidisciplinary faculty panels, presentations that include youth and parents formerly involved in the child welfare system, and presentations by Child Welfare Law Specialists.  For partial or full ethics credit, presentations must observe California rules for ethics credits.  California attorneys are also required to complete Competency Issues credits and Elimination of Bias credits.


Abstract selection is highly competitive.  Our schedule permits a total of six (6) plenary sessions and thirty-five (35) breakout sessions (last year we received 140 abstracts).  All sessions are 90 minutes long.  Breaks between sessions are 30 minutes to permit additional questions and networking. 


All conference faculty (up to three presenters per session) receive free conference registration. However, faculty must pay for their own travel and accommodations (exception for some youth presenters; see FAQs).


Please review NACC’s Conference Abstract FAQs before abstract submission.


NACC Non-Discrimination Policy


It is the policy of the National Association of Counsel for Children not to discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, culture, ethnicity, national origin, religion or religious beliefs, physical or mental disability or handicap, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or age.  NACC embraces diversity among its Board, staff, and members.





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